100 episodes

Answering all your questions about productivity and self-development.

The Working With... Podcast Carl Pullein

    • Self-Improvement
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Answering all your questions about productivity and self-development.

    How To Manage 'Millions' of Projects

    How To Manage 'Millions' of Projects

    This week’s question is all about managing multiple projects, a full calendar and incessant daily interruptions so that you stay on top of what’s important.
     
    You can subscribe to this podcast on:
    Podbean | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | TUNEIN
     
    Links:
    Email Me | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Linkedin
    Why Your System Must Start At An Area of Focus Level
    Your Digital Life 3.0 Online
    Carl’s Time Sector System Blog Post
    The FREE Beginners Guide To Building Your Own COD System
    Carl Pullein Learning Centre
    Carl’s YouTube Channel
    Carl Pullein Coaching Programmes
    The Working With… Podcast Previous episodes page
     
    Script
    Episode 151
    Hello and welcome to episode 151 of the Working With Podcast. A podcast to answer all your questions about productivity, time management, self-development and goal planning. My name is Carl Pullein and I am your host for this show.
    Now, this week I have a fantastic question about how to manage essentially a ton of stuff being thrown at you every day as well as making sure multiple projects are moving forward.
    Now before I get to the question, just a heads up for those of you who are enrolled in the Time Sector Course. Last week, I added a new lesson on bringing your areas of focus into the daily mix of tasks. In that lesson, I take you through how to create your areas of focus and how they need to be filtering into the Time Sector System. 
    Of course, if you are not enrolled in the course, then you can still do so. It’s an amazing course and will transform the way you manage your work by simplifying your structure and making sure that you are focused on what is important today, and not worrying about what’s coming up next week, later this month or next month. After all, what matters is the here and now. As long as you have done your weekly planning session, you should not be needing to worry about next week and beyond. 
    Anyway. I hope you do join in the course. Full details are in the show notes.
    Okay, it’s time for me now to hand you over to the Mystery Podcast voice, for this week’s question.
    This week’s question comes from Heather. Heather asks: Hi Carl, I’ve watched your videos and agree that separating projects from to-dos would simplify my life significantly. However, as a school principal I have a million projects, some new and some repeating quarterly, and a full calendar. How do you advise using a notes app to help prioritise and see next actions that should go into your task manager? 
    Hi Heather, thank you for this question. 
    Let’s start at the foundations. There is only a certain amount of time each day for us to do our work. We are not able to work 24 hours a day seven days a week. Aside from the need to sleep and eat it is neither sustainable nor healthy. So, what we need to do is to build some structure into our day and really understand what our core work is. 
    You see, knowing what work only we can do and what work we can delegate to our team helps with prioritising. If there is some work only you can do, as a principle, then, of course, this is going to be your priority. Nobody else can do it, so if you do not do it, nobody else will. 
    This goes for any team leader or manager. If there is work your team can do, then you need to let go of that work and delegate it. This means, of course, you must trust your team. You must also ensure they are shown exactly what you want and that means you will need to allocate some time to train your team. 
    Now, I’ve come across a few people who say “yeah yeah I know that, but I just don’t have any time to train my staff”. Sure, it’s a dilemma, isn’t it? But, if you are unable to manage your workload now, what is going to happen in the long-term? Something important is going to get missed, or you’re just going to have a breakdown. Either option is not a good option. 
    In this case, what I would do, is

    • 13 min
    Why Everything Must Start From Your Areas of Focus.

    Why Everything Must Start From Your Areas of Focus.

    We’ve reached a rather special milestone this week. This is the 150th episode of the Working With… Podcast so I thought this week I would explain something important about how great productivity systems are built.
     
    You can subscribe to this podcast on:
    Podbean | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | TUNEIN
     
    Links:
    Email Me | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Linkedin
     
    Why Your System Must Start At An Area of Focus Level
    Steve Jobs’s Crazy Ones recording
    Your Digital Life 3.0 Online
    Carl’s Time Sector System Blog Post
    The FREE Beginners Guide To Building Your Own COD System
    Carl Pullein Learning Centre
    Carl’s YouTube Channel
    Carl Pullein Coaching Programmes
    The Working With… Podcast Previous episodes page
     
    Script
    Episode 150
    Hello and welcome to episode 150 of the Working With Podcast. A podcast to answer all your questions about productivity, time management, self-development and goal planning. My name is Carl Pullein and I am your host for this show.
    So, in a little change from the usual format, today I want to explain how to build your very own productivity system from the basic foundations. 
    As with all building, it starts with solid foundations and most people’s productivity systems fall apart not because of a lack of discipline but because the foundations on which the system is built are not strong. 
    There are three essential parts to any productivity system. There is the daily level—the tasks you complete. There is the project level, the group of connected tasks that when completed results is a finished project and then there is the areas of focus—the foundations of the system.
    Now, It does not matter about the app you are using, it does not matter what industry you are working in. What matters are the foundations on which your whole system is built. I actually think this is a weakness in the Getting Things Done methodology. In the GTD book, there is a lot of stuff about collecting, managing your stuff and creating file folders for the different projects you create as a result of what you collected, but there is very little on why you are collecting that stuff. GTD focuses too much on the daily and project level and not enough on the foundational level.
    You see, everything begins with your areas of focus or areas of responsibility. (There are many different ways of describing these). Essentially what this means are the very things you consider to be important in your life. 
    For most people, these will be things like:
    Family and relationships
    Your career
    Your health
    Your spirituality
    Personal development
    Life experiences — the places you want to visit, the things you want to experience.
    Your finances
    And your purpose in life.
    There are more, but essentially most people would consider these areas of life as being important. 
    Now the funny thing is each of these areas will have a different level of importance depending on where you are in your life. If you are in your twenties, your relationships, career and life experiences are likely to be your top priorities. In your thirties, your family, life experiences and career. In your forties, it’s likely to be your personal development, finances and purpose in life. Fifties; finances will be near the top, your health and your family and so on. It changes with us and we are all different so the mix will be different for each of us. 
    But wherever you are in life, if you have not got these down, your system will be built on a foundation of sand. You will have no direction, no levels of importance that match where you are in life and so you will be operating from the level of your projects. Essentially your daily to-do list will be just that. A daily to-do list of tasks that are not connected in any way to what is really important to you.
    And if you don’t know what your areas of focus are, where will your projects generally come from? Your work pro

    • 13 min
    How To Manage Change in a Fast Changing Environment.

    How To Manage Change in a Fast Changing Environment.

    This week the question I am answering is all about managing change in a rapidly changing, and uncertain, world. Something most of us are experiencing right now. 
     
    Links:
    Email Me | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Linkedin
     
    The Super 10 PLUS Course Bundle
    Your Digital Life 3.0 Online
    Carl’s Time Sector System Blog Post
    The FREE Beginners Guide To Building Your Own COD System
    Carl Pullein Learning Centre
    Carl’s YouTube Channel
    Carl Pullein Coaching Programmes
    The Working With… Podcast Previous episodes page
     
    You can subscribe to this podcast on:
    Podbean | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | TUNEIN
     
    Script
    Episode 149
    Hello and welcome to episode 149 of the Working With Podcast. A podcast to answer all your questions about productivity, time management, self-development and goal planning. My name is Carl Pullein and I am your host for this show.
    How have you been affected by COVID-19? Has the way you do your work changed dramatically? Are your productivity tools living up to your expectations? And how are things likely to change in the coming months? 
    We do live in unprecedented times, changes to the way we live and work have not changed this fast in the Second World War and yet, as humans, we have done a remarkable job in adapting to new ways of living and working. We always will, That’s part of the human condition. We are exceptional when it comes to adapting. 
    This week, the question I am answering is how to manage all this change so we remain focused on what is important, stay on top of our core work and deliver our work to outstanding levels of quality and on time. 
    Now, before we get to the question, I wanted to give you a heads up on a new bundle in my Learning Centre. I have been asked numerous times over the last few years if it was possible to create a bundle of my courses that includes a personal one on one coaching element. Well, I have found a way to do and that bundle is now available in my learning centre. 
    You can now buy all ten of my courses AND get three months of one on one coaching included. Now, I understand this bundle is not going to be for everyone. But if you are searching for a way to change the way you work. To prepare yourself for what comes in the post-pandemic world and want to start 2021 knowing you have the skills to adapt and create and produce outstanding work, then this bundle is for you. 
    You will get everything you need to build your own productivity system. To create achievable goals and bring everything together so you are in complete control of your time and life. It is an amazing package and will save you over $400 off the full price. And once you have learnt the systems, you then get three months with me personally as your coach to implement everything you have learned so that at the end of the process you will have changed your habits, built an amazing system and be ready to face whatever comes in the new world in 2021.
    Full details of this bundle are in the show notes.
    Okay, it’s time for me now to hand you over to the mystery podcast voice for this week’s question. 
    This week’s question comes from Joseph. Joseph asks: Hi Carl, in May this year our company told us to work from home until further notice. This was hard for me as I have always liked the camaraderie of working in my office. We are still working from home and my company has told us we shall be continuing to work from home until March next year. Do you have any tips and tricks on managing change because I am worried everything I have set up now will change again in March?
    Hi Joseph. Thank you for sending me your question. 
    I suspect a lot of people are facing the same disruption you are, Joseph. And it’s one of the inevitabilities of life that things will change. Change never stops. The difference now is the speed of change has gone from manageable to, for most, unmanageable and incredibly d

    • 15 min
    How My Systems Fit Together Into A Daily Workflow.

    How My Systems Fit Together Into A Daily Workflow.

    Podcast 148
    Over the last few weeks, I’ve received a number of questions about how my whole productivity fits together. From COD to The Time Sector System to PACT. So.,this week that’s the question I will answer.
     
    Links:
    Email Me | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Linkedin
    Your Digital Life 3.0 Online
    Carl’s Time Sector System Blog Post
    The FREE Beginners Guide To Building Your Own COD System
    Carl Pullein Learning Centre
    Carl’s YouTube Channel
    Carl Pullein Coaching Programmes
    The Working With… Podcast Previous episodes page
    You can subscribe to this podcast on:
    Podbean | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | TUNEIN
     
    Script
    Episode 148
    Hello and welcome to episode 148 of the Working With Podcast. A podcast to answer all your questions about productivity, time management, self-development and goal planning. My name is Carl Pullein and I am your host for this show.
    Over the last three or four years, I have introduced a number of concepts, models and systems and the question is, how do all these fit together to make a workable, effective productivity system? That’s a great question because there are a lot of different ways you can manage your work, but for me, ultimately it’s less about the actual system and more about the workflow that you use.
    Ultimately, how you manage your work in the time you have available is the key. It does not matter how brilliantly you have all your stuff organised if you don’t know where to start, or even how or when to start, you will not have an effective system. You workflow—the way to start your day, how you manage your work throughout the day and how you end the day is where everything comes together. And the best workflows need little thought or decision making. It’s just what you do. So that’s what I will be explaining in this week’s episode.
    Now, before we get to the question, don’t forget, for those of you already enrolled in the Your Digital Life 2.0 course, you now have a brand new update waiting for you. All you need do is go to your dashboard on my Learning Centre and you will find everything there. 
    This year, you get the Time Sector System, and almost all the classes have been updated with better content and better explanations. 
    PLUS… You also get my Email productivity and goal planning courses absolutely free! 
    Now would be a great time re-take the course so you can refocus your system and workflows and go into the final quarter of 2020 refreshed and working at your most productive. 
    And, of course, if you have not joined the Your Digital Life programme, you can do so. For just $74.99, you get a complete course that will give you everything you need to become better organised and more productive. You learn how to build your own digital system as well as how to manage your email and goals and bring everything together in a fantastic workflow. Full details of the course are in the show notes.
    Okay, it’s time for me now to hand you over to the mystery podcast voice for this week’s question.
    This week’s question comes from Angela. Angela asks: Hi Carl, I’ve been following your on YouTube for quite some time now, and I have seen you talk about COD, PACT, the Golden 10 and now the TIme Sector System. Is this just an evolution of your system or do al these things play an important part in the way you do your work each day? 
    Hi Angela, thank you for your question.
    To answer your question, I thought it would be a good idea to explain how everything works and how each part fits together. 
    So let’s start with COD. COD stands for “Collect, Organise and Do”, it’s the foundation of every great productivity system. You see, you need to collect everything that comes your way that you feel is important or something you need to do something about. You then need to organise all that stuff you collect and of course, you need to do your work. 
    So, whenev

    • 12 min
    How To Use Your Task List With Your Calendar.

    How To Use Your Task List With Your Calendar.

    This week’s question is all about managing your tasks and managing your events. Where does everything go? Your calendar or your task list?
     
    Links:
    Email Me | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Linkedin
    Your Digital Life 3.0 Online
    Carl’s Time Sector System Blog Post
    The FREE Beginners Guide To Building Your Own COD System
    Carl Pullein Learning Centre
    Carl’s YouTube Channel
    Carl Pullein Coaching Programmes
    The Working With… Podcast Previous episodes page
     
    You can subscribe to this podcast on:
    Podbean | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | TUNEIN
     
    Script
    Episode 147
    Hello and welcome to episode 147 of the Working With Podcast. A podcast to answer all your questions about productivity, time management, self-development and goal planning. My name is Carl Pullein and I am your host for this show.
    So, I’ve had a few questions recently on how best to schedule your day and what should be on a task list and what should go on your calendar. It’s a good question and it goes to the heart of managing your time and your days and weeks.
    Now, before we get to that, If you are sick and tired of endlessly rescheduling tasks and starting the day with a lot of overdue tasks, it may be time for you to consider the Time Sector System. 
    The Time Sector System shows you a different way to manage your tasks, a way of being more realistic about what you can get done each day and each week. It encourages you to become better at prioritising your time and the work you have to do and it makes your daily and weekly planning easier and faster and a lot less complex. 
    It’s a system designed in the 21st century for the 21 century and will help you eliminate all those overdue tasks and give you a simple time management system that you can build on and learn new habits that will ultimately put you back in charge of your time.
    Full details of the course are in the show notes.
    Okay, its time for me now to hand you over to the mystery podcast voice for this week’s question,
    This week’s question comes from Benjamin. Benjamin asks: Hi Carl, I’ve seen a few of your videos recently on using your calendar but I’m a bit confused. Are you saying you should manage everything from your calendar or from both your calendar and your task list? 
    Hi Benjamin, thank you for your question and I’m sorry for any confusion. Hopefully, in this episode I can clear things up for you.
    So let’s start with the calendar. Your calendar is your most powerful productivity tool because it is the one tool you have that will never lie to you. It shows you the number of hours you have each day and it will not allow you to over-schedule yourself. Well, I suppose you could do that, but you would very quickly see the impossible situation you have created for yourself. 
    So, how do you use your calendar? First, you want to schedule your non-negotiable events. These could be meetings, family commitments, your exercise time and classes or other commitments you have that are important to you. 
    For me, each week, I have a number of classes that are at the same time each week. These are on my calendar as repeating events. They are non-negotiable for the most part—although from time to time I will cancel these if I need some time to record a course or if I need to take a few days break for thinking and planning.
    I also schedule my exercise time on my calendar too. I do this at the beginning of the week because each week the type of exercise I do is likely to be different. To do some weights at home—because at the moment gyms are not the safest of places to be— takes around 45 minutes. And a quick shower afterwards means I need an hour. But there’s no travel time or cooling off time—which I usually need if I have been out for a run or to the gym. 
    If I go out for a run, I usually need ninety minutes. So I schedule my exercise when I do my weekly planning. 
    That

    • 12 min
    Why I Don't Use A Task manager As A Project Manager

    Why I Don't Use A Task manager As A Project Manager

    What are the benefits of managing your projects in a notes app as apposed to a to-do list manager? That’s what I’ll be answering in this week’s episode of the Working With Podcast.
     
    Links:
    Email Me | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Linkedin
    Your Digital Life 3.0 Online
    Carl’s Time Sector System Blog Post
    The FREE Beginners Guide To Building Your Own COD System
    Carl Pullein Learning Centre
    Carl’s YouTube Channel
    Carl Pullein Coaching Programmes
    The Working With… Podcast Previous episodes page
     
    You can subscribe to this podcast on:
    Podbean | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | TUNEIN
     
    Script
     
    Hello and welcome to episode 146 of the Working With Podcast. A podcast to answer all your questions about productivity, time management, self-development and goal planning. My name is Carl Pullein and I am your host for this show.
    This week, I have a question about why I manage my projects in a notes app (and occasionally a spreadsheet—but you didn’t know that did you?) So, what I decided to do to answer this question is to take you through why I find to-do list managers are a terrible place to manage projects and to challenge some preconceived ideas about how best to use a to-do list manager and a notes app as well as other tools. 
    Now, before we get to the question and the answer, if you have missed it in the last couple of weeks, my Your Digital Life 2.0 course has become Your Digital Life 3.0 and it is practically re-recorded from the ground up. You now have the Time Sector System in there as well as how to manage your files, your email, your goals and your notes. It’s pack full of great tips and tricks.
    So if you are looking at building new ways of working for the post-pandemic work life, then now would be a great time to get yourself enrolled. It’s a great course and will set you up wonderfully with a productivity system that works for you so you take full advantage of the digital tools we all carry around with us every day.
    Okay onto this week’s question which means it time to hand you over to the Mystery Podcast Voice for this week’s question:
    This week’s question comes from Abigail. Abigail asks, Hi Carl, I have been watching some of your videos on YouTube and your approach to using a to-do list seems very different from other people I have watched. My question is why do you manage your projects in your notes app and not your to-do list? Isn’t that what a to-do list is for?  
    Hi Abigail, thank you for your question.
    Now, I spend a lot of time each day reading productivity and time management forums, blog posts and books and the biggest mistake I see is people creating elaborate and complicated systems. Complexity is the number one productivity killer. No matter how busy you are—or think you are—building yourself an elaborate and complex system is just going to make you feel even busier. it does not solve your problem. 
    The only way to become more productive and bring some kind of balance into your life is by creating a system where you spend very little time inside your to-do list. Your to-do list only needs to tell you what you need to do today. 
    Now here’s the biggest mistake I see. people trying to manage projects inside their to-do list. Now I know where this came from. It came from a misinterpretation of GTD—that’s Getting Things Done, by David Allen. 
    Now GTD never said manage your projects inside your to-do list. GTD is all about creating folders based on your contexts. That’s people, place or thing. What that means is you create a list of folders based on a place, which could be your office or home, a person, your partner, your boss or colleagues or a thing, which could be a computer, your phone or iPad. 
    So if you had a task that required you to use a computer, you would put that task inside your “Computer” folder. If you had a task that required you to do it at

    • 16 min

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